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Home > Cancers We Treat > Gynecologic Cancer > Uterine Sarcoma

Uterine Sarcoma

Definition

Uterine sarcoma is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the muscles of the uterus or other tissues that support the uterus.

The uterus is part of the female reproductive system. The uterus is the hollow, pear-shaped organ in the pelvis, where a fetus grows. The cervix is at the lower, narrow end of the uterus, and leads to the vagina.

Uterine sarcoma is a very rare kind of cancer and is different from endometrial cancer, a disease in which cancer cells start growing inside the lining of the uterus.

A graphic depicting uterine cancer the left side of the graphic is an outline of a woman's body highlighting the enlarged nodular uterus and on the right side is a close up of the enlarged nodular uterus
Uterine Sarcoma
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

Risk Factors

  • Past treatment with radiation therapy to the pelvis
  • Treatment with tamoxifen for breast cancer. If you are taking this drug, have a pelvic exam every year and report any vaginal bleeding (other than menstrual bleeding) as soon as possible

Symptoms

Abnormal bleeding from the vagina and other signs and symptoms may be caused by uterine sarcoma or by other conditions. Check with your doctor if you have any of the following:

  • Bleeding that is not part of menstrual periods
  • Bleeding after menopause
  • A mass in the vagina
  • Pain or a feeling of fullness in the abdomen
  • Frequent urination

Diagnosis

The following tests and procedures may be used:

  • Physical exam and history
  • A pelvic exam of the vagina, cervix, uterus, fallopian tubes, ovaries and rectum
  • Pap test
  • Transvaginal ultrasound exam
  • Biopsy of the uterine lining
  • Dilation and curettage (D&C)

Treatment

Four types of standard treatment are used:

  • Surgery
  • Radiation therapy
  • Chemotherapy
  • Hormone therapy

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Content was created using EBSCO’s Health Library. Edits to original content made by Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia. This information is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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